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Sustaining soil fertility in support of intensification of sweetpotato cropping systems

This project aims to sustainably intensify the semi-commercial sweetpotato cropping system for improved future food and income security in the Papua New Guinean Eastern Highlands, Jiwaka, and Western Highlands.
Papua New Guinea's population has increased rapidly, more than doubling in the last 30 years. There is limited land to expand agricultural production, so food security poses a serious threat in the foreseeable future. Intensifying food production systems is necessary to feed Papua New Guinea's burgeoning population, but this will put unprecedented pressure on land.
The recent ACIAR Small Research Activity SMCN/2012/016 showed that stakeholders in the region are growing sweetpotato with a shorter fallow period, more rotations with legume crops, and using shorter cropping periods than ten years ago to cope with the increasing population pressure. Sustainable intensification of the sweetpotato cropping system is critical in improving the livelihoods of all rural Highland communities.